Double-Door Garage Conversion
Replace an overhead door with pre-hung double panels.
By Matt Weber
To increase the finished living space in a split-level home, we removed a garage door and replaced it with a double door to remodel the interior into a family room. This insulated fiberglass door was smaller than the garage door opening, which required us to frame the new opening. Replacing a door usually presents the challenge of installing the door snugly and securely into the existing rough opening. In this case, however, we built the rough opening to fit the door. Here’s how we tackled the project.
It’s important to note that we framed this door as a non-load-bearing wall. Most exterior doors require a load-bearing header installed directly above the jamb. Headers are structural framing members made from doubled 2x lumber that bridge the rough opening of a door or window to distribute the overhead weight that would otherwise fall on the missing studs. The size of the header depends on the span of the opening and whether or not it is a load-bearing wall.
In this case, we removed the existing garage door, which had already been constructed with a substantial header, and left the structural framing in place to carry the load. We then constructed a secondary wall just inside the framed opening to house the new double door. Because the existing header satisfied the load-bearing requirements, the secondary wall serves only to define the rough opening, enclose the sides of the door, and provide a nailing surface for wallboard and sheathing. Since the new, secondary header was not a load-bearing component, we built it with doubled 2×4 lumber.
First step was to take a few measurements to center the double door in the opening. We calculated the proximity of the new wall to the existing frame by accounting for the thickness of the sheathing that would be installed between them. We then snapped a chalk line on the floor to guide placement of the door jamb and new wall.